Ten Favorite Male YA Contemporary Characters!

Posted February 19, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 21 Comments

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Ten of my Favorite 
Male YA Contemporary Characters!
As I’ve been working on my upcoming Contemporary Month 2013, 
I’ve been thinking back on some of my favorite characters. 
It’s impossible to narrow down my absolute favorites, but
I can certainly name a few!

1. Dean Holder from 
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover

Holder is one of the good guys. He comes across as 
one of the mysterious bad boys initially, but as you read you realize that
appearances can be deceiving, and you fall pretty hard for him, just like Sky does.
He’s a wonderful, fantastic, brilliantly written character – exactly what I’ve 
come to expect from Colleen Hoover. 


2. Gabriel Witter from

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Gabriel is a wonderful, wonderful character to love because he loves music and 
he loves to read. He isn’t really concerned with what people think of him and he 
makes his own way. He’s comfortable with himself and his brother Cullen really looks up to him. It’s difficult not to respect him a ton when you read this book.


3. Matt Watkins from

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

Matt Watkins is a super smart, super nerdy, very lovable 

college student that lives in a very interesting family. He doesn’t make the best
decisions at times but he is such a likable guy and his heart is in the right place. 
I just love him!


4. James from
Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker

James is a such a great character! When Clementine is stuck
on the boat with her family all summer, lonely and broken-hearted, it is James that 
shows up unexpected with his flaming red hair and his love for drawing and music. He is the one that helps her learn to love and forgive herself and just be free again. What a great guy, that James.  


5. Marcus Flutie from
 The Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty

The truth is that I’ve only read the first two books because at 
the end of the second book, I loved Marcus Flutie so darn much that 
I wasn’t ready to move on yet – I just wanted to sit on my love for 
the end of that book and for Marcus at the end of that book because, 
well, he’s pretty scrumptious by that point. Awww.
(I can’t speak for the rest of the series at this point.)


6. Jase Garrett’s whole family from
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

If you’ve read this book, you know that not only is Jase Garrett lovable and 
awesome, but his entire family is that way. They’re loud and messy, and they’re unapologetic about it. But that’s because they’re a big family that is so full of love that everyone around them knows it. When I was reading this  book, I wanted to crawl thru the pages and BE IN Jase’s family. It’s clear that Jase is the way that he is because he is a product of his loving parents, and the same goes for his brothers and sisters. 


7. Park from
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I almost feel bad for including a book/character that isn’t published
yet – but I really want as many people as possible to know how amazing and 
wonderful Park is (this entire book, really). He takes a chance on a girl that 
is very different than he is – different background, different kind of family – and 
they end up with a great friendship and relationship. Park ends up changing her life, 
actually. This is a BEAUTIFUL story and Park is an AMAZING character. 
You MUST add this to your to-read list. 

Release Date: February 26, 2013
See my review HERE.


8. Travis Stephenson from
Something Like Normal by Trish Doller

Oh, Travis. Travis is flawed and handsome and a defender of this great nation. 
He makes mistakes and says stupid things, and he isn’t afraid to have his butt kicked by a girl – the same girl that owns his heart and helps him face his issues. Travis is one of the reasons I love YA contemporary. 


9. Jonah Griggs from
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Jonah Griggs is one of the best characters in any genre, anywhere, period. 
He is complex and intriguing and there is so much more to him than you initially think. He’s just fantastic and you really only know to what degree if you’ve had the absolute pleasure of reading this book. 


10. Tiny Cooper from
John Green an David Levithan

There’s not a lot of explanation needed for this one. 
I mean, it’s Tiny Cooper. He’s incredible and funny and incredible. 
I love him to pieces. 


There are so many great characters out there! 

I noticed that while I was making my list, I was gravitating 
toward male YA contemporary characters. How interesting! 

Really, though, since characterization is so important to me, 
these characters are only a drop in the bucket for me. 
I love so many. 

Who did I miss? Who are your favorites? 
Leave me your link so I can visit your list!


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


21 responses to “Ten Favorite Male YA Contemporary Characters!

  1. Okay, Asheley, there are about 3 books here on your list that I haven't read yet, but are totally on my TBR. EVERY OTHER book is a favorite of mine so I know we're book soul mates. Seriously! LOVE YOUR LIST! xo

  2. Ah! Tiny Cooper!! Love love love him! I just talked about him over on Jamie's list, too! He is so great! Aaaaand I'm a little embarrassed to admit that he is the only character I know…I KNOW, I KNOW I have to read more contemporary! I'm trying…

  3. HOW COULD I FORGET TINY? And Jase almost made my list. Gabriel and Marcus are for sure on there, love them both so much. Second Helpings is my favorite book in the series, easily.

  4. You have so many books on your list that are on my TBR list, and your comments make me want to go read each one right now!! I read another beautiful review of Eleanor and Park yesterday at Rather be Reading. I am definitely interested in this!

  5. I really want to read Unbreak My Heart and Eleanor and Park as well as When Things Come Back. And of course the Jessica Darling series!! Love Dean Holder, Matt Watkins, Jase Garrett, Travis Stephenson and JONAH GRIGGS. Oh I haven't read WIll Grayson, WIll Grayson yet, but that is also on my list. Great picks!!

  6. amazing list! I mean, it has to be, there's Tiny Cooper in it. 🙂 Also, I agree about Jonah Freaking Griggs and especially Park. Park is great 🙂 and I would have added him to my own list but I didn't think he was contemporary…

  7. TINY COOPER ALWAYS AND FOREVER. Seriously, he gets all the comments.

    ALSO! I have not read: Flat Out Love, Jellicoe Road, Hopeless, or Eleanor & Park, but I implicitly trust you when it comes to contemporary so I'll have to read those ASAP.

    I love that you included Jase Garrett, he's such a good guy and I think YA books need more of those and less bad boys.

    AHHH! Marcus Flutie! He gets all of the love for always. <33333

  8. DEAN HOLDER, JONAH GRIGGS, AND MATT! All favorites of mine. Legitimately.

    And this Marcus Flutie character? I've never read The Jessica Darling series, but I think I'm going to be buying a copy since everyone seems to love him.

    And I'm wondering have you read Ann and the French Kiss? Etienne is my all time favorite.

    Great post!!
    My Top Ten

  9. Unbreakkkkkk my heart, say you love me againnnnn. No joke, heard this in the pet store this weekend. I loved JAMES. My husband is JAMES too and that made it that much sweeter. I look like I'm spamming you with this comment but I like that you picked the males. So hard to find dimensaional male characters in YA but I think you nailed this list! (Still haven't read Hopeless though… on my Nook and waiting!)

  10. Tiny Cooper! He's so awesome. Not gonna lie, he totally made me cry in that book at the end where he was appreciated at the play (I totally hope this happened and I'm not making it up; it's been a long time). Also I remember I loved Jase even though I can't remember anything about him. Also Marcus Flutie. I love male YA characters (when they're awesome and hot and sweet. Not the evil ones).

  11. It may not surprise you to learn that I haven't read any of these. Contemporary just isn't my thing. However, several are on my TBR list, and I can't wait to get to them!

    Thanks for commenting on my blog!

    Shelver @ Bookshelvers Anon

  12. Amy

    I LOVED LOVED LOVED Jace from My Life Next Door! I loved him for exactly the reasons you did, and I loved his family so much as well. They made me wish my parents had popped out a huge, loud brood of kids.
    Travis is amazing too. I love so much that he's kind of a big jerk but he KNOWS he is and doesn't really want to be anymore. I have a humungous soft spot for stories like this one, with the military aspect and the veterans. It's a bonus that the veteran is young guy with so many endearing qualities.
    And girl, Eleanor and Park is happening so soon, I can't even. If I don't read Jellicoe Road by the end of this year, you have my permission to make me feel like a big failure.
    Super list, Asheley!

  13. Yes Mattie and Tiny!!!!

    Also, this list made me realize that I need to put a sizeable dent in my YA Contemp TBR. I've been meaning to read My Life Next Door and When Things Come Back ever since you reviewed them…time to get on the ball!

  14. I loved James from Unbreak My Heart too! His character is just the perfect person for this sweet summer romance 🙂

    Oh, but Jase (and his family) have my heart. Because SERIOUSLY, he's such an awesome character!

    And JONAH! OH MY WORD. I have no words for how much I love him.

    (Notice how my favorites on your list all begin with J. Hmmm…)

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